2014 Annual Review

In December, as a way to sort myself out of a funk, I re-examined my Getting Things Done method and made an attempt to get everything back on track with my list-keeping and regular goal reviews. I can’t tell you how much this helps me. It creates order in a world that is sometimes so not orderly, and it makes me feel empowered that I can and will do the things I want to do.

In that spirit, I’m also attempting a 2014 annual review this year, inspired by Joel (a favorite blogger of mine).


I’ve had a lot of downs this year, or things that felt like downs at the time, and I’m in the midst of working out of that December funk I mentioned, but this process has helped me see that despite feeling like I should have done more this year, I actually did do more than I thought, and that makes me feel better — and optimistic for the year ahead.


The big ones were being in The Sorcerer for the Durham Savoyards, and also managing publicity for the show, and starting a brand new day job at Duke University.

I had mixed feelings about the day job (more on that here), but I’ve learned a lot this year and I’m going to call it a success after a mid-year favorable review (and commensurate pay increase) and a list of really cool new skills and accomplishments:

  • Took over writing and producing a weekly 1-minute news round-up show
  • Learned how to run everything in the Skype/ISDN studio and became the in-office expert on it
  • Produced live video of the Class of 2018 photo as well as some other live events
  • Created a whole new website hub for communicators at Duke
  • Edited a shit-ton of videos all by my onesie self, some of which were in the top 10 most viewed videos on our channel for the year


  • Meet the blogger program at the Durham County Library
  • Various presentations for Duke communicators about making video on a budget
  • Marketing presentation for Durham County Library’s writer bootcamp program
  • Online video class on Overcoming Creative Impasses for Heart of Carolina Romance Writers
  • VIP hands-on presentation on Overcoming Creative Blocks for Type A Parent Conference in Atlanta


Made some new personal records at the gym this year, among them these that I’m particularly proud of:

  • 220-lb deadlift
  • 165-lb back squat
  • 95-lb jerk


  • CPR certification from Red Cross
  • CASE Multimedia conference in D.C.
  • Duke accounting classes
  • Dimensions of Management (Duke development class)
  • AV Tech Expo
  • Type A Parent Conference
  • YouTube Creator Academy classes on production


  • CNN tour and downtown Atlanta on the tail end of my Type A Parent Conference trip
  • Southern Caribbean cruise
  • Photo tour of the Duke Lemur Center
  • Nasher Museum tour of the Rauschenberg exhibit
  • Concerts: Alton Brown, Jack Johnson
  • Christmas tour of Duke Chapel
  • Colonial Williamsburg at Christmas



  • Decrapified a whole bunch of stuff: make-up drawer, clothes, shoes, cookbooks, pantry, childhood toys from the attic
  • Had a doggie cancer scare. We’re still in the midst of her recovery from a toe amputation, but thankfully, the tumor was benign and she’s going to be fine.

Lot of stuff, right? So here’s the lowdown on how that stuff went…


  • I have to claim success at my new job. It was a bit of a tough transition for me from full-time blogging to full-time day jobbing again, but I think I’ve proven myself a valuable and reliable coworker, and I’ve learned a lot this year and been able to put it to good use. It’s also my first time managing people, and they seem to like me, so we’re going to call that a win, too, ha.
  • I’m super proud of my deadlift PR. We’ll talk more about fitness in the next section, though. Heh.
  • Minimalism has been an interesting side-project/thought exercise for me for the past few years. I’m really interested in paring down to the essentials, and not over-consuming. I’m glad I was able to make a little progress in that area, even if it was slow and small steps. Every time I get rid of something superfluous, I feel the extra little bit of freedom I have.


  • Blogging and writing have been up and down this year, but mostly down. I’ve failed to get on a consistent schedule and give enough attention to each separate project. Some of this is lack of time and energy, but a lot of it, if I’m being honest, is just because I didn’t buckle down and do it like I know I should have, and wish I would have.
  • Gym-going has also been up and down this year, and while I’m proud of the progress I’ve made, I’d like to make more consistent progress in the coming year. I feel like the benefits of exercise for me are mostly in the mental health arena, and those only kick in if I show up to the gym regularly and don’t take 2-week long breaks whenever the going gets tough. (I need my mental health especially when the going gets tough, so the gym shouldn’t be the thing that drops when something’s gotta give.)
  • I so wish I’d taken more time for traveling this year. I want to see things, but I will not see the things I want to see if I never go anywhere. I want to take more time (and spend more money) going after the destinations on my Places To See list this year.


As far as formal resolutions, I like to keep things simple, so I’m thinking of going with something like:

  • Write every day.
  • Sweat every day.

That gets to the core of a lot of what I felt bad about in 2014. I’m Type A, though, so I’ll probably still do a spreadsheet of goals or something, and you know I’m ever on the look-out for cool projects like Project 333 and the Impossible List.

Ok, your turn. You don’t have to write 1,000 words like I did (oops), but tell me how your 2014 went and how your 2015 is looking!